Khmer cuisine is similar to that of its Southeast Asian neighbors. It is relatively unknown to the world compared to its neighbors but has been described as somewhat similar to Thai cuisine but less spicy.
Many of the Khmers who knew how to cook authentic Khmer cuisine before the civil war were killed during the Khmer Rouge Regime. Cambodian cuisine also uses fish sauce widely in soups, stir-fried cuisine, and as dippings. Curry dishes known as kari shows it's ties with Indian cuisine. Influences from Chinese cuisine can be noted in the use of many variations of rice noodles. Beef noodle soup known simply as Kuyteav is a popular dish brought to Cambodia by its Chinese settlers. Also, Banh Chiao is the Khmer version of the Vietnamese BÃ¡nh xÃ¨o.
Khmer cuisine is noted for the use of prahokâ€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹ , a type of fermented fish paste, in many dishes as a distinctive flavoring. When prahok is not used, it is likely to be kapÇâ€‹ instead, a kind of fermented shrimp paste. Coconut milk is the main ingredient of many Khmer curries and desserts. In Cambodia there is regular aromatic rice and glutinous or sticky rice. The latter is used more in dessert dishes with fruits such as durian. Almost every meal is eaten with a bowl of rice.
Typically, Cambodians eat their meals with at least three or four separate dishes. Each individual dish will usually be one of either sweet, sour, salty or bitter. Chili is usually left up to the individual to add themselves. In this way Cambodians ensure that they get a bit of every flavor to satisfy their palates.